The Pentagon Is Killing a Key Independent-Research Program | Defense One


Since 1959, a little-known program named for a mythical Greek hero has allowed the Defense Department and other agencies to commission independent academics to do a wide variety of scientific and technical studies.

Work produced under this JASON program has often had a quiet-yet-outsized impact: in 1995, for example, one such study showed that the Pentagon could maintain an effective nuclear stockpile even under the proposed Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty — a conclusion that helped the treaty become reality.

But now Pentagon officials are killing JASON in all but name. Last month, they sent the bad news to MITRE, the nonprofit corporation that runs the program.

Source: The Pentagon Is Killing a Key Independent-Research Program – Defense One

NATO’s Options and Dilemmas After the INF Treaty | Council of Councils


On February 2, citing Russian material breach of the accord, the United States suspended its obligations under the INF Treaty and initiated a six-month-long withdrawal process.

As far back as 2014, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama had publicly accused Russia of violating the INF Treaty by testing GLCMs, later identified as 9M729 (NATO designates it as SSC-8), which are now deployed.

The United States asserts that it will stop its withdrawal if Russia returns to INF compliance before August, but such a scenario is unrealistic.

Russia denies that the 9M729 has a range greater than five hundred kilometers and quickly responded to the U.S. suspension and withdrawal with its own suspension of its INF Treaty obligations.

NATO backs the U.S. decision but has yet to agree on a broader response to the collapse of the treaty.

Source: NATO’s Options and Dilemmas After the INF Treaty – Council of Councils

Atlantic Charter 2.0: A “Declaration of Principles for Freedom, Prosperity, and Peace” | Council on Foreign Relations


After a seven-decade run, that world order is under grave assault.

Many people, including citizens in free societies, have grown skeptical of democracy, open markets, and international institutions. Globally, nationalism, populism, and protectionism are ascendant.

Authoritarian powers, China and Russia foremost among them, seek to weaken Western solidarity and liberal values.

Meanwhile, the United States, the former champion of an open world, has abdicated global leadership. Under President Donald J. Trump, it has embraced an amoral, transactional, and insular foreign policy, contributing to the sense of a world adrift.

Fortunately, not everyone is taking this lying down.

Source: Atlantic Charter 2.0: A “Declaration of Principles for Freedom, Prosperity, and Peace” | Council on Foreign Relations

Toyota sees new business opportunity in leveraging hybrid tech | Reuters


The head of Toyota Motor Corp’s electric vehicle (EV) business told Reuters the automaker has received enquiries from more than 50 companies since announcing last week that it would offer free access to patents for EV motors and power control units.

The executive also said Toyota aims to use partnerships to cut by as much as half the outlays for expanded electric and hybrid vehicle components production in the United States, China and Japan.

Source: Exclusive: Toyota sees new business opportunity in leveraging hybrid tech – Reuters

The great space wait


Virgin Galactic’s goal to fly tourists into space as early as this summer is about 12 years later than initially promised by its founder, British billionaire Sir Richard Branson.

But many of its customers, including Gisli Gislason, aren’t sweating it.

Source: The great space wait

From skateboards to spying, Assange arrest followed drawn-out dispute with Ecuador | Reuters


British police on Thursday arrested the WikiLeaks founder, who sought asylum in the Andean nation’s diplomatic mission during the government of former Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa – who saw Assange as a hero for leaking secret U.S. documents.

By contrast, Moreno took a dim view of Assange when he took office in 2017, ordering the Australian hacker to cut back his online political commentary, stop riding his skateboard in the halls of the embassy and clean up after his pet cat.

Source: From skateboards to spying, Assange arrest followed drawn-out dispute with Ecuador – Reuters

Oh, brother! NASA twins study shows how space changes the human body | Reuters


In research published on Thursday, scientists compared Scott Kelly to identical twin Mark Kelly after Scott spent 340 days in orbit on the International Space Station and Mark remained Earth-bound.

Both are now retired as NASA astronauts, and Mark is running for a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona.

Source: Oh, brother! NASA twins study shows how space changes the human body – Reuters

Chevron to buy Anadarko for $33 billion in shale, LNG push | Reuters


Chevron Corp on Friday said it will buy Anadarko Petroleum Corp for $33 billion in cash and stock as the company doubles down on its bet on U.S. shale oil and gas production, where the surge in output has made the United States the world’s largest energy producer.

Source: Chevron to buy Anadarko for $33 billion in shale, LNG push – Reuters

GOP grows tired of being blindsided by Trump | TheHill

Senate Republicans are getting tired of being caught off-guard by President Trump on key issues like health care and controversial nominees like Herman Cain, and say there needs to be more consultation from the White House.

Trump’s allies say they often find out about the president’s plans on Twitter or through media reports, making it almost impossible to offer the White House any advice before major decisions are announced.

Source: GOP grows tired of being blindsided by Trump | TheHill

Brexit Halloween Deadline Perfect for This Endless Nightmare | Time


The Brexit vote was a wake-up call for many Britons. For some, it was a victory, and a sign that the political elite could no longer ignore certain parts of the population.

For others, it was a shock and a realization that perhaps they did not know their fellow countrymen as well as they thought.

But the referendum was only the beginning.

Source: Brexit Halloween Deadline Perfect for This Endless Nightmare | Time